Microsoft and the entertainment industry’s holy grail of controlling copyright through the motherboard has moved a step closer with Intel Corp. now embedding digital rights management within in its latest dual-core processor Pentium D and accompanying 945 chipset.
Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM-enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case.
While Intel steered clear of mentioning the new DRM technology at its Australian launch of the new products, Intel’s Australian technical manager Graham Tucker publicly confirmed Microsoft-flavored DRM technology will be a feature of Pentium D and 945.
“[The] 945g [chipset] supports DRM, it helps implement Microsoft’s DRM … but it supports DRM looking forward,” Tucker said, adding the DRM technology would not be able to be applied retrospectively to media or files that did not interoperate with the new technology.
However, Tucker ducked questions regarding technical details of how embedded DRM would work saying it was not in the interests of his company to spell out how the technology in the interests of security.
The situation presents an interesting dilemma for IT security managers as they may now be beholden to hardware-embedded security over which they have little say, information or control.
Conversely, Intel is heavily promoting what it calls “active management technology” (AMT) in the new chips as a major plus for system administrators and enterprise IT. Understood to be a sub-operating system residing in the chip’s firmware, AMT will allow administrators to both monitor or control individual machines independent of an operating system.